Knicks' Mitchell Robinson reportedly expected to return from ankle injury Wednesday vs. Raptors

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson hasn't played a game in nearly four months, but that's all about to change.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Robinson is expected to play Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury back in December. It was first reported that Robinson had been upgraded to questionable, indicating that he might be available for the game. About an hour later, Wojnarowski reported that Robinson would be active and is expected to play.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - NOVEMBER 20: Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks readies for play against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter at Target Center on November 20, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Knicks 117-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Knicks center Mitchell Robinson will reportedly play against the Raptors for the first time in four months. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Mitchell, 25, was having the best season of his career when he went down on Dec. 8 during a loss to the Boston Celtics. He was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year and was leading the NBA in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 5.3. He initially wasn't expected to miss much time, but further tests revealed he needed surgery.

Getting Mitchell back on the floor is vital for the Knicks. Though they're currently fourth in the East with a 43-28 record, they've been hit hard by injuries this season. Most notably, OG Anunoby has been recovering from an elbow issue and Julius Randle has been dealing with a shoulder problem.

There was a point when the Knicks believed that Mitchell would not be returning in 2024. They reportedly applied for a $7.8 million disabled player exemption in December, which teams only do if a player has been lost for the season. The NBA denied that exemption in January, reportedly because there was "optimism" the he could return late in the season — which is exactly what Mitchell is doing.